A sea of brightly coloured helmets adorning the tops of children’s heads could be seen from the entrance of the Sooke Sk8 Park on Sunday afternoon, where SideStep Skateboarding School was hosting a competition and barbecue.
Students, parents, volunteers and general skate aficionados showed up to support the event and watch some cool tricks.
“This is our first official grand opening event, we’ve invited all the community and the public to join in,” said SideStep founder Debbie Qayum.
Kids of all skill levels from the school performed ollies (rider leaps in the air with their board), kickflips (flipping the board over while in the air) and stalls (standing on the tip of the board along the edge of a ramp) for an eager audience while music blared in the background from the DJ/karaoke tent.
Qayum recently launched her company, that focuses on teaching skateboarding skills but also promoting it as a “non-rebel sport,” and said her students are quick learners.
“The kids are moving along in different levels and they’re getting certificates as they complete each level. So we hope by next summer we’ll have an actual team that we can have to compete with a lot of the other skate shows.”
She has been also trying to clean up the visual look of the skate park. Earlier in the summer, Qayum and community volunteers created a mural two of the park walls. This time, they painted the bathroom and other scattered areas.
“We went around the park and got rid of all the horrible graffiti.”
The next goal for SideStep is to be a part of this year’s fall fair in September.
“We would like to be in the parade which would be a first, ever.”